Tag Archives: Obama scandal

Congress fears “brain drain” over Obamacare cost; the brains to be drained are the same brains which wrote and passed Obamcare . . .

Politico:

Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.

The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive.

If the issue isn’t resolved, and massive numbers of lawmakers and aides bolt, many on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain just as Congress tackles a slew of weighty issues — like fights over the Tax Code and immigration reform.

More crony capitalism success: Taxpayers to lose $10 billion on $50 billion GM “investment” . . .

Detroit Free Press:

Washington — The U.S. Treasury said Wednesday it plans to sell 30 million additional shares of General Motors stock in a new public offering in conjunction with GM’s return to the S&P 500 index on Thursday . . . The Treasury, which initially held 60.8 percent of GM as part of the U.S. $49.5 billion bailout, now owns just 16.4 percent, or 241.7 million shares. In December, the Treasury sold GM 200 million shares of its stake for $5.5 billion to reduce its stake to 300 million shares.

In total, Treasury has recouped $30.6 billion. At current trading prices, Treasury would lose around $10 billion on its GM bailout.

Transparency is for the little people; Obama Administration’s secret e-mail accounts . . .

WASHINGTON (AP) – Some of President Barack Obama’s political appointees, including the Cabinet secretary for the Health and Human Services Department, are using secret government email accounts they say are necessary to prevent their inboxes from being overwhelmed with unwanted messages, according to a review by The Associated Press.
The scope of using the secret accounts across government remains a mystery: Most U.S. agencies have failed to turn over lists of political appointees’ email addresses, which the AP sought under the Freedom of Information Act more than three months ago. The Labor Department initially asked the AP to pay more than $1 million for its email addresses.
The AP asked for the addresses following last year’s disclosures that the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency had used separate email accounts at work. The practice is separate from officials who use personal, non-government email accounts for work, which generally is discouraged – but often happens anyway – due to laws requiring that most federal records be preserved.
The secret email accounts complicate an agency’s legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails in response to congressional or internal investigations, civil lawsuits or public records requests because employees assigned to compile such responses would necessarily need to know about the accounts to search them. Secret accounts also drive perceptions that government officials are trying to hide actions or decisions.
“What happens when that person doesn’t work there anymore? He leaves and someone makes a request (to review emails) in two years,” said Kel McClanahan, executive director of National Security Counselors, an open government group. “Who’s going to know to search the other accounts? You would hope that agencies doing this would keep a list of aliases in a desk drawer, but you know that isn’t happening.”

Why the IRS scandal is “different” . . .

Peggy Noonan

“[T]his scandal isn’t a discrete event in which a president picks up a phone and tells someone in the White House to look into the finances of some steel industry executives, or to check out the returns of some guy on an enemies list.

But my friend got to the essence. He wrote, ‘Watergate was bad—don’t get me wrong. But it was elites using the machinery of government to spy on elites. . . . It’s something quite different when elites use the machinery of government against ordinary people. It’s a whole different ball game.’

It is . . .

In previous IRS scandals it was the powerful abusing the powerful—a White House moving against prominent financial or journalistic figures who, because of their own particular status or the machineries at their disposal, could pretty much take care of themselves. A scandal erupts, there are headlines, and then people go on their way. The dreadful thing about this scandal, what makes it ominous, is that this is the elites versus regular citizens. It’s the mighty versus normal people. It’s the all-powerful directors of the administrative state training their eyes and moving on uppity and relatively undefended Americans.
That’s what makes this scandal different, and why if it’s not stopped now it will never stop. Because every four years you can get yourself a new president and a new White House, but you won’t easily get yourself a whole new administrative state.

Darn those coincidences! Wife of Former IRS Commisioner who targeted Tea Party is Program Director for group trying to shut down Tea Party . . .

Breitbart.com:

Former IRS chief Doug Shulman’s wife works with a liberal lobbying group, Public Campaign, where she is the senior program advisor. Public Campaign is an “organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.”

The goal of Public Campaign is to target political groups like the conservative non-profits at issue in the IRS scandal. The Campaign says it “is laying the foundation for reform by working with a broad range of organizations, including local community groups, around the country that are fighting for change and national organizations whose members are not fairly represented under the current campaign finance system.”

CEO of Public Campaign Nick Nyhart has offered words of support for the IRS’ targeting: “There are legitimate questions to be asked about political groups that are hiding behind a 501(c)4 status. It’s unfortunate a few bad apples at the IRS will make it harder for those questions to be asked without claims of bias.”

Public Campaign gets its cash from labor unions like AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, and Move On.

Dick Morris is a broken clock . . .

There’s no chance President Barack Obama knew nothing of the IRS targeting conservative groups, says political pundit Dick Morris.

“The incredible frequency of the White House visits — essentially weekly — indicate that Obama must have been deeply involved with the inner workings of the audits and harassment of conservative groups,” Morris writes on his website, DickMorris.com. Morris asks what other reason would have brought Schulman to the White House 157 times during the period that groups with “tea party,” “patriot” and other conservative buzzwords in their names were being targeted for extra scrutiny.

“Not ObamaCare. Not without having (Health and Human Services) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in attendance, you wouldn’t,” Morris says. “About Treasury issues? Deficit reduction? Not without Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.”

The reason, Morris says, is that Obama was following the IRS actions with an “obsessive, personal involvement.” The Citizens United ruling galvanized Obama into action, Morris says, and “tapped so deeply into his psyche that he was determined personally to supervise the castration of the wealthy people and groups whose access to the political system was opened wide by the (U.S. Supreme) Court.”

Obama and IRS Commissioner had more White House “meetings” than Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky . . .

Daily Caller:

“Publicly released records show that embattled former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House at least 157 times during the Obama administration, more recorded visits than even the most trusted members of the president’s Cabinet.
Shulman’s extensive access to the White House first came to light during his testimony last week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Shulman gave assorted answers when asked why he had visited the White House 118 times during the period that the IRS was targeting tea party and conservative nonprofits for extra scrutiny and delays on their tax-exempt applications.

By contrast, Shulman’s predecessor Mark Everson only visited the White House once during four years of service in the George W. Bush administration and compared the IRS’s remoteness from the president to “Siberia.” But the scope of Shulman’s White House visits — which strongly suggests coordination by White House officials in the campaign against the president’s political opponents — is even more striking in comparison to the publicly recorded access of cabinet members.
An analysis by The Daily Caller of the White House’s public “visitor access records” showed that every current and former member of President Obama’s Cabinet would have had to rack up at least 60 more public visits to the president’s home to catch up with ‘Douglas Shulman.’”

Wow! Obama did a heckuva job hiding the Easter eggs . . .

From Commentary Magazine:

“The Washington Examiner reported on Monday that Mark Everson, Commissioner of Internal Revenue from 2003 to 2007, during the Bush administration, visited the White House exactly once while in office. Indeed he felt like he’d “moved to Siberia” so out of the ordinary political loop was he. But Douglas Shulman, Commissioner from 2008 to 2012, during the Obama administration, visited the White House 118 times just in 2010 and 2011. His successor, Steven Miller, also visited “numerous” times.”

It’s not Obama’s fault; the vast left-wing Bureaucracy did it . . .

Reliable Democrat apologist Jonathan Turley in the Washington Post:

“The growing dominance of the federal government over the states has obscured more fundamental changes within the federal government itself: It is not just bigger, it is dangerously off kilter. Our carefully constructed system of checks and balances is being negated by the rise of a fourth branch, an administrative state of sprawling departments and agencies that govern with increasing autonomy and decreasing transparency. . .

This exponential growth has led to increasing power and independence for agencies. The shift of authority has been staggering. The fourth branch now has a larger practical impact on the lives of citizens than all the other branches combined.”

Perjury: Lewis (Scooter) Libby was imprisoned for less . . .

NY Post:

Yesterday’s acknowledgment is likely to bring added scrutiny to Holder’s own [sworn] testimony before the House Judiciary Committee two weeks ago about a different leak investigation where the feds seized phone records used by up to 100 Associated Press reporters.

Holder, who said he had recused himself from the AP investigation, seemed to broadly rule out prosecuting any reporters in his remarks.

“With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy,” Holder said.

“The focus should be on those people who break their oath and put the American people at risk, not reporters who gather this information. That should not be the focus . . . of these investigations,” he continued.

The government hasn’t charged Rosen with any crime in relation with his 2009 article, which cited intelligence material about North Korea.

But the 2010 search warrant Holder green-lighted called Rosen an “aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator” in an alleged crime — violating the Espionage Act. It stated there was “probable cause to believe that the reporter has committed or is committing a violation” of the law, and said Rosen’s e-mail account contained “evidence, fruits, and instrumentalities of that violation.”